Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day of the Dead and Chippiannock Cemetery

This post is in reference to the Day of the Dead, the day that follows Halloween.

I didn't used to know about Day of the Dead,
the celebration of those who have passed
and how they come out one night a year to visit and rejoice with loved ones.

HERE is a link to explain it better if you are not familiar with it.

It's also about one of the local cemeteries here in Rock Island.
A cemetery that is listed as one of America's top haunted spots.
Chippiannock Cemetery.
There's a lot of statues and monuments in the cemetery and I believe I've written a post a few years back about them, complete with photos but I will share a few of them here again.
You can also go HERE for more info.

Here's a few of my photos:

These were taken with my old camera.
I apologize for the blurriness.

It's a big cemetery and then across the road is another cemetery -
Calvary Cemetery.
Here's a couple of photos from there:

I went to find the post that I had written about the time my sister talked me into going to the cemetery at night during Day of the Dead.
I thought it was just a couple of years ago but evidently it was FIVE!
It kinda freaks me out how time is flying!

Ever since then she's tried talking me into going back.
Last year I can't remember my excuse.
Maybe it had rained
or it was really cold
or I had to work the next day and didn't want to be out late.

Unfortunately this year I just realized the weather it supposed to be in the 70's during the day
and no rain
and I have the next day, Wednesday off.
I still don't want to go back,
not after what showed up on my photos from the first time we went!
But I have a feeling that my sister will really push me to go.
Last time I was told it probably was moisture on my camera lens.
If I were to go this year, I'd be using my iPhone....
but I'm not going!

Anyway, HERE is the post.
Complete with photos of what was in the cemetery that night.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Vera Wag

I have a lot of dogs.
Anyone who reads my blog knows that.
I mostly talk about my Blue or
Maybe about Jimmy Chew and whatever trouble he's got himself into.
I also don't talk about them all because I think it gets confusing and hard for people to keep track of everyone.
That doesn't mean that each and every one of them aren't special to me and hold a piece of my heart.
A sad fact too is that sometimes when they are absolutely perfect they might not get as much attention as the trouble makers.
"Good" dogs don't always make for the funniest of stories sometimes too.

Perfect is my little Vera.
(this is Vera in 2008 after she got all groomed up fancy)

I know that I wrote about her before but it's been a very long time ago.
She's of course another rescue.
A beautiful grey miniature poodle hidden under dirty matted hair.
She's the kind of dog that no matter what, would never bite.
She sits silently and patiently as she's groomed.
They have pulled a loose tooth with her wide awake and she just let them.
All she wants are snuggles and kisses in return.
I went to shave Vera last Wednesday night.
I've been shaving the poodles like Serta sheep with skinny legs and fluffy bodies.
Because of that fluffiness I didn't realize that Vera's belly was extremely swollen and her back legs very puffy until I started shaving her.

I brought her into work me the next morning and they did X-rays
and then an ultrasound and they found a HUGE mass.
Too big to remove and most likely attached to one or more organs.
She's 13 years old.
Since she's still eating and running around and even still jumps up on the bed, they don't think she's in pain.
They say if she quits eating then it's time.
They also said she's losing some blood and there is probably some internal bleeding.
They said she might end up bleeding out sometime but that it's not a bad way to go.
Meaning she could just pass away some time.
I gotta say, sometimes it's really hard to focus on the positives and remain upbeat.

This Friday (today) her belly was as big as a basketball and her hind legs and hocks were triple their size.
I'm now giving her twice daily injections of Salix to get rid of all the fluid she's retaining.
She was so bloated that you could lay your hand on her belly and it would become moist.

I asked one of the vets how long she had.
She said it could be a day or it could be weeks.
I added "or months?"
But she sadly shook her head and said 
No, not months.

I'm not asking for prayers or healing thoughts.
This is not something that is going to get better.
I hesitated even sharing this but...
I do share just about everything and...
well...if I didn't share I would feel like once again, Vera the perfect dog,
wouldn't get the attention she deserved.
If anything I guess I just want everyone to take a few extra moments out of their day
and hug and love on those who don't get their fair share.
Those who are so good that they don't get constant attention.
I know that's what I'll be doing in these final days.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Wednesday's are now my day off.
Last Wednesday morning I met a friend for breakfast.
It was kinda the official start of my vacation because
I had used the last of my vacation days and had taken Thursday through Saturday off
and I had Sunday off too!
So that made for a nice group of a few days to get things done
and to relax a little bit.
My throat had felt a little sore the night before so I stopped after breakfast and picked up

throat spray, cough drops and NyQuil so that I could nip it in the bud.

By Thursday I was sick.
Friday I was much worse.
Saturday I had the chills and was sweating and about to call for last rites.
Sunday I woke up still sick but mad

and determined to get some use out of the wasted days so I
made myself do some work around the house and then went outside to finish some yard work 
in an effort to sweat my cold away and get some things done before the cold weather set in for good.

Monday I returned to work and was tired, dizzy and coughing so bad that I left a little after 1:00.
Fortunately the new girl was able to come in and cover my shift. 
I finally got home and when I walked in the door I discovered that Dewey had gotten me a little something.

I'm assuming he thought it would cheer me up.

I feel bad for the little mouse.
The weather is quite cool now
and cold at night.
He probably squeezed his way into the basement
looking to get warm
not knowing what waited for him inside.

Today I went back at work.
Several co-workers urged me to go home.

They thought I sounded worse than I had been on Monday.
I know I was coughing more.
My voice was almost gone too.
Finally one of them, a friend, came back and said to me that she had decided
that I needed to go HOME!
I told her I would...
after I gave a bath to a dog that I had promised his owner that I would
and after I finish up a few things.

Of course there's the financial issue of it as
we only get 24 hours sick time and I burned that up at the beginning of the year.
And I obviously just used up the last of my vacation hours.

Finally I got what needed to be done, done and left.
Luckily almost all the boarders had left
and it would only be a couple of hours until my evening shift worker would be in.

I'm lucky that I have tomorrow off.
Another day to recover!
I'm just bummed because I had so many plans for the last few days.
One was a day trip with a friend to drive to a few cool places
but she had to cancel last minute, so I guess that worked out for the best
and at least I got the outside stuff almost done.
But I wanted to work on figuring out Etsy and set up my shop
and of course work on making Art for Etsy.

I also had several things I wanted to write about and share in blog posts.
Things that happened and I don't want to forget to share!


Oh well!
Enough whining.
I need to stop planning out specific times
and just do things in little bits and it will get done.

Right now though, I think I will curl up in my big chair
with a cup of green tea
and let myself be covered up with my furry critters
and nap until it's time for bed and my Nyquil
but I mostly just wanted to pop in and let everyone know
why I haven't posted in a while.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016

How I am SNAPPING out of it.

The last few days I've felt rather...
I know I shouldn't be.
That it's very self-indulgent.
Things are better for me right now than they have been for quite a while..
My work load is lightening up.
A few vacation days are on the horizon.
I'm healthy.
I have a million creative ideas
and yet....
I've felt really

Usually when I felt like this, I started to count my blessings.
There are so many people out there with
I mean, how dare I!?

In the past I would give myself a few days.
Just wait for the feeling to pass.
And I usually start researching things
and looking at images that make me happy and feed me creatively.

I'm not the most tolerant of self-pity
and those who prefer to embrace unhappiness.
Someone I know is always posting on Facebook
about how her life sucks and how everything happens to her
and she's exhausting.
I tried commenting and leaving her encouraging thoughts
but she's like -
"Nope, I'm miserable".
I just backed off and didn't bother to comment further
although I wanted to say -
"And that is how you will stay."

My own father suffered from depression
and let me say right now, I was not IN a depression.
Just "feeling" depressed and kinda down.

So yes, for me, time always helps
and SIGNS.
I always think that The Universe puts a sign, a message into my path
to take care of the feeling.
To motivate me, to make me

So why was I feeling depressed?
Well, the usual things.
Things going wrong around the house.
Things breaking and the irritation of having to figure out how to fix them and pay for them.
Unexpected bills.
Just the stuff that life is made of
and the downside of being a responsible adult.

And other stuff.
Stupid stuff like dealing with clutter
and just making myself get rid of it.
I mean how stupid is that?
That clutter could overwhelm me
when in reality it's something that could be easily remedied.
Trash it or donate it or....
Put it in my booth, when I get my booth.

Is my booth a good idea?
Jeez, now after a long post about the excitement of getting a booth
I'm questioning it already?!?!?
Should I take my name off of the waiting list?
I had started writing down everything I wanted to do and BAM!
When am I going to have time to do EVERYTHING?
What's most important to me?
When am I going to write?
When am I going to illustrate?
When am I going to learn watercolor?
When am I going to Blog?
Wow, WHT is wrong with me?

Reading over some of the comments left for me,
while they are all so super supportive, I feel like they mostly were
urging me to set up my shop or at least list my items somewhere online.
Rather than have them at a random booth in the middle of the Midwest....

I found this quote and WHOA!
This is TOTALLY me! -

I'd be long squished by now.

And then there were much MUCH bigger things.
The recent death of another person I know to cancer
and now two more people, both beautiful and kind women with families, one being the best friend of someone I'm very close to and another is someone I knew when I was young, both are dealing with terminal cancer.

Usually news like that immediately pulls me out of my "woe is me" mindset.
The realization of MY good fortune to have good health
kicks me in the butt and tells me to KNOCK IT OFF!
I mean, really!
How dare I whine about anything!
But instead I felt overwhelmed with sadness and the anger at the unfairness of it all.
Why is Cancer still here?
Why can't they find the cure?
Why does it take these wonderful people!?

Then I finally got to thinking about how time is precious
and how things can change in an instant,
and how I needed to pull myself out of this stupid tailspin.

Of course there was SOMETHING ELSE that occurred that also caused me to feel so down.
It was a blog post that I had written a long time ago.
I hardly ever go back and read my posts,
but apparently I should.
I had gone to my STATS
and saw that most of my "views" actually were coming from Pinterest!
If I had any common sense at all, I'd be setting up shop on Etsy or somewhere
and then tagging them on Pinterest.
I mean, DUH.

Then I went to see what my most popular post was
or at least the one with the most views and this was it:
So far it has a total of 17211 views!
Now I realize that most people probably found it while searching for:
Bike riding.
Biking with dogs.
Vespa's with sidecars for your dog.
5 year plans.
House fires.
or something else, rather than my birthday.

But this was a post from FIVE YEARS AGO!!!
with my plan on where I'd like to be in FIVE years otherwise known as -
And that's when I got depressed.
Real depressed.

Not much has changed from then.
I've just been spinning my wheels
and going nowhere?!
I'm doing better than 10 years ago but....

So, that's what really did me in for awhile.
It stepped on some of my fingers hanging onto the ledge
as I dangled over my Pity party.
The feeling of all that wasted time.
And the feeling of time running out.
The realization again of my mortality.
And... the feeling that my best days are behind me.

Then I found this:

Helen Mirren at 71.

Thank you Helen.

and this:

''I think midlife is when the universe gently places her hands upon your shoulders, pulls you close, and whispers in your ear:
I’m not screwing around. It’s time. All of this pretending and performing – these coping mechanisms that you’ve developed to protect yourself from feeling inadequate and getting hurt – has to go.
Your armor is preventing you from growing into your gifts. I understand that you needed these protections when you were small. I understand that you believed your armor could help you secure all of the things you needed to feel worthy of love and belonging, but you’re still searching and you’re more lost than ever.
Time is growing short. There are unexplored adventures ahead of you. You can’t live the rest of your life worried about what other people think. You were born worthy of love and belonging. Courage and daring are coursing through you. You were made to live and love with your whole heart. It’s time to show up and be seen.''
~ Brené Brown
Thank you Brene Brown.

I needed that.

Time to stop THINKING and just start DOING.

In closing, I'm sorry my Blogger friends.
I know that I can be exhausting and majorly repetitive.
Thank you for your patience and kindness.
I hope you are all happy and celebrating Autumn.
I hope you have your lives together and figured out and all is going well.
But if you don't, know that you are not alone
and feel free to share and/or give suggestions on how you SNAP OUT OF IT!

Thursday, October 6, 2016


The Universe hears what you think about.
And delivers.
Sometimes you wish for something
and when it happens, you get scared.

Or maybe that's just me.

So, FOREVER I've been wanting help and relief at work.
I do have some very good help
but they are part-time and they all work full-time jobs elsewhere.
So that has still left me working 6 days a week.
Well... Not anymore!

I've hired someone who is an adult.
Someone who has known Doc for a very long time,
although he had no idea that she was looking for a job.
She had told our Hospital Administer that she was looking for employment.
The H.A. knows her because they are both dog breeders.
One of the vet techs knows her very well also,
because she is a breeder too.

I must mention here that they are all legitimate breeders of Show Dogs
and not the backyard variety.
Anyway, apparently dog breeders are a community and all know each other.

So I hired this woman who cares for her own multiply dogs daily.
So she knows hard work.
She's had to administer drugs to them, so she has no problem giving medications.
She's somewhere in my age group
and she loves dogs.
She's very nice and pleasant.
So what more could I ask for?

Now I have Wednesday's off!
Can you imagine me having two days off in one week!?
I'm in Heaven.

So I had yesterday off and I had a lot of plans for my day.

First I met my friend for an early (6am) breakfast
and then I came home to tackle 2 BIG projects.
Since Thursdays are trash day, I decided to pick up a little bit around the house first
so I could get rid of some things.
Somehow I ended up sorting through and rearranging two rooms!
I worked on it all day and had a HUGE contractor bag full of stuff for the trash.
I've decided that on Wednesday I will always spend a little bit of time to throw away a few things.
And also load a few items in the car to donate.
I felt good even though I had not gotten to the 2 BIG projects!

So I returned to work today and had my usual notes
and several phone messages to return
and reservations to make and...
Then I noticed a note of my desk.

The new woman had made a boarding appointment in the computer
and asked if she had done it right and if so, could I call and confirm with the client.
I had not taught her this step yet.
I looked at the reservation and it appeared that she had done everything right.
But how had she done it ? and who had taught her?

I went and asked the Hospital Administer if she had come to her for help
while I was off but she was surprised and said No!
The H.A. asked how did she know the program for it?
I shrugged and went back to my area.

Later that morning the new woman dropped by.
She had an appointment for one of her dogs but wanted to know
if I had seen the note and if had she done the reservation right.
I told her Yes. She had done it correctly but how did she know how to?
She replied that she just figured it out! LOL!
I said if she had down it wrong or messed up the schedule I might have been upset
but since she did it right, that everything was fine and then I kinda laughed.

A little bit later I went up and told the Hospital Administer that she had "just figured it out"
to which she replied "Wow!"
I said "Yeah, I know!"
and then (although I've had this in the back of my mind since Day One)
I said "Yeah, and she tidied up the area next to the cabinet where everyone tosses stuff!"
I paused and then added -
"Yep! She's after my job and but she can't have it!"
Everyone laughed and I went back to my area.

A half hour later I went to get my hoodie
but it wasn't jammed on the shelf by my desk.
I looked around and there it was! Hanging on a hook!

Later when I had to go back up front to the office area with some files
I walked over to the bin and put the files in it and turned around and said
to the Hospital Administer and the other office girls -
"She hung up my hoodie!"
and as I walked away as they all started laughing.

But to be honest,
it's a good thing.
I was scribbling down ideas all day on scratch paper and post-its.
Ideas of things I want to do and create.
All plans for my Art.
News ideas and game plans.
The Universe has sent me just what I've been needing.
I've been putting everything BEFORE my Art and I need to re-focus.
My Art needs to more important.
I've been on the edge and I just needed a push.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


On the day that Blue had his surgery, something happened that I didn't share.
Something kinda funny.
It had nothing to do with Blue
but just something that happened that day when I went out for lunch.

That day we were taking x-rays of Blue hourly.
It was nearing lunchtime and
I was waiting for Doc to look at the latest x-ray taken
but he had several appointments left to do.
So I decided to run and get something for lunch and get some gas.
I thought I would have Blue with me when I went home that night
and I don't like stopping anywhere with him in the car.

So I went and got gas and saw a long line at my usual lunch drive-through
and decided last minute to go to another place.
As I drove back to work, I decided to take the backstreets because that route would be less busy.

As I travelled up the road I noticed that the driver ahead of me
had pulled over suddenly.
I slowed up as I passed her and glanced over and
I saw she was leaning over a dog
So I pulled over  and stopped a little bit ahead of her.
I got out and she had a hold of the dog's collar.
She looked up at me and asked me if it was my dog.
I replied, No and that I had just stopped because I thought she might need some help.

So, she's holding onto this dog and said -
"I saw him in the middle of the road and he was on his back and I thought he had been hit by a car!"
Then she continued and said "But apparently there's a dead squirrel here in the road and he was just rubbing his back on it!"
We both kinda laughed and she said he had a tag with his name and a number.
I went and got my phone and called the number but no one answered.
I left a message.

So she was looking around for a moment
and I said "Well...
I could take him with me to work, I work at a vet clinic not far from here."
She was very relieved as it turned out that she was on her way to pick up her kid from the daycare center on the corner of the block.

So I took ahold of his collar
and I looked at his name tag.
"Come on Champ" I said.
He didn't look at me but just walked with me to my car.
I opened the passenger side door and he jumped in.
I walked around and got in my side.
He sat like a person and silently looked out the window.
Looking at him made me kinda laugh as we drove back to work.

I had a spare leash in the car so I looped it around his head when we got there
and lead him inside and then out to the potty area in boarding.

I called the number again, no answer but I left a message as to where Champ was.

A few minutes passed and his owner called.
He was up on his roof working but he would drive over shortly to get him.
In the meantime I got Champ some water.
Soon his dad arrived and thanked me.
He said they lived right on the corner where we found him
and that he had just been in the yard moments before I called.
I told him how the other driver had seen him
in the middle of the road and had stopped thinking he had been hit.
Then I told him about the squirrel.
He laughed and thanked me again
and said he was glad Champ hadn't gotten hit by a car
while rolling on a squirrel.

"Especially on National Dog Day!" the owner exclaimed.
I had forgotten that, what with all that was going on with Blue.

So I went and got Champ, who was instantly happy to see his owner.
He jumped up on him and his tail was wagging like crazy.

I'm glad that it all turned out so well.
Then I went up front to see what Doc thought about Blue's latest x-ray.